COLE CUSTER – 2017 Richmond II Race Report

September 9th, 2017

Cole Custer Finishes 14th at Richmond

Haas Automation Driver Battles Inside Top-10 For Majority of Race

Date: Sept. 8, 2017
Event: Virginia529 College Savings 250 (Round 25 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/14th (Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (617 points, 277 out of first)

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Ty Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Cole Custer started fourth, finished seventh. Earned four stage points.
  • Custer kept his Haas Automation Ford Mustang inside the top-five for the majority of Stage 1.
  • He ran as high as third until loose-handling conditions pushed him just outside of the top-five.
  • Custer pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):     

  • Started seventh, finished 11th.
  • Custer forced his way into the top-five shortly after the restart.
  • As the stage wore on, Custer’s Haas Automation Ford lost its drive off of the turns and ran too tight in the center of the corners.
  • At the conclusion of Stage 2, he pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments to correct handling issues.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-250):          

  • Started 10th, finished 14th.
  • Custer ran in and around the top-10 for the majority of the stage.
  • With 20 laps to go, Custer continued to endure handling issues, ultimately pushing him outside of the top-10.

Notes:              

  • The Virginia529 College Savings 250 was Custer’s 30th NASCAR XFINITY Series start and fifth start at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
  • Only nine of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Three cautions slowed the race for 26 laps.
  • Brad Keselowski won the Virginia529 College Savings 250 to score his 36th career XFINITY Series victory, his second of the season and fourth at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 3.008 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I’m not sure what happened there at the end of the race. Our Haas Automation Ford Mustang was so fast at the start of the race and throughout the second stage. We just kind of fell off at the end, but we’ll go back and try to figure out what happened.”